A Digital Discussion On People And Places


Community helpers was the focus of a recent digital lesson for ENL students at Fairfield Elementary School in the Massapequa School District. Working with English as a New Language teachers Colleen Corrigan and Mary Gaynor, they learned vocabulary pertaining to important people who work in the community and discussed the different roles that each of them serve.

Fairfield Elementary School ENL teacher Mary Gaynor prepared to mail letters to her students for an assignment that expanded their vocabulary about places in the community.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

Corrigan and Gaynor hosted virtual lessons over Google Hangouts for kindergartners and first graders. One of the chats included a guest speaker, Ms. Corrigan’s husband, who is a firefighter. Students were able to ask him questions about his job.

ENL students also participated in the Buncee initiative, #Hugs4Heroes, in which they made digital thank-you cards for essential workers. Second and fourth grade students from Michele Ritchie and Jill Korwan’s classes were engaged in letter-writing lessons, incorporating the digital cards they made.

Colleen Corrigan sent her ENL students mini Bitmoji teachers to accompany them on their daily adventures.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

Other digital resources Corrigan and Gaynor used included Google Slides for lessons on letter writing, Epic! so students could read online books about community helpers and Flipgrid in which children made videos reflecting on the different jobs they learned about.

An extension to the lesson was the Adventures With Mini-Teachers project, in which students expanded their vocabulary to places within a community. Corrigan and Gaynor sent letters to all of their students which including miniature Bitmojis of themselves. Children were asked to bring those on their daily adventures at home and in the community, then write about their experiences and share pictures on a Google Slides digital journal. They also had to provide a verbal response and shared their experiences in Flipgrid videos.

“These activities worked on specific skills for their language needs like reading, speaking, listening and writing,” Gaynor said. “It also allowed us to stay connected with the students in a time where we can’t physically be with them.”

Submitted by the Massapequa School District

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